PHOTO BY JANELLE JONES
Madison Holler’s ancestry is impressively multiethnic— her mother’s family is largely Dutch and Swedish, while her father’s is German, Norwegian, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, and Chippewa—so it’s only natural that she weaves many cultural influences into the jewelry she makes.
As soon as Holler could hold a needle and thread, her mother taught her how to bead (and how to weave baskets, decorate Ukrainian-style Easter eggs, throw pottery, and more), and the Minnesotan later learned peyote-style stitching from her Native American family and friends. “I have always found it difficult to settle on one form of making,” Holler says, but her Nordic–Native American lineage kept bringing her back to beadwork—and ultimately inspired her jewelry line, Rubinski Works.
Holler assembles her pieces off-loom, with each glass and metal seed bead applied by hand. It can take seven hours to make a bracelet, 12 hours to craft a pair of earrings, and 25 hours to fashion a 20,000-bead, double- sided peyote pouch. She never sketches her designs in advance, opting instead to start with a color scheme and a vague notion of pattern—“shapes, icons, checkered, Bauhaus, De Stijl, floral”—and to work in a free-form fashion. “My partner says he can tell my mental state by the pattern I’m working on,” she says, “whether it’s zen or fluid or sporadic and hectic.” From $50 to $500; available at rubinskiworks.com and The Walker Shop at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.